Page images
PDF
EPUB

And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
Out of this filence, yet, I pick'd a welcome :
And in the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much, as from the rattling tongue
Of fawcy and audacious eloquence.
Love, therefore, and tongue-ty'd fimplicity,
In least speak most, to my capacity.

Enter Philoftrate.
Philoft. So please your grace, the prologue is ad-

dreft.7 The. Let him approach.

[Flour. Trum. Enter the prologue. Prol. If we offend, it is with our good will.

That you should think, we come not to offend, But with good-will

. To fhew our fimple skill, That is the true beginning of our end. Consider then we come but in despite

We do not come, as minding to content you-
Our true intent is-- All for your delight,

We are not bere, that you should bere repent you,
The a&tors are at bard; and by their show,
You spall know all, that you are like to know.

Ibe. This fellow doth not stand upon points.

Lys. He hath rid his prologue, like a rough colt; He knows not the stop. A good moral, my lord :It is not enough to speak, but to speak true.

Hip. Indeed he hath play'd on this prologue, like a child on a recorder; 8 a found, but not in government. 9

Tbe. ? -addreft.] That is, ready. Hen. V. “ To-morrow for our march we are addrept."

STEVẺ NS-on a recorder.] A kind of Aute. Shakespeare introduced it in Hamlet, and Milton says,

" To

The. His speech was like a tangled chain; nothing impair'd, but all disordered. Who is next? Enter Pyramus and Thisbe, Wall, Moonshine, and Lion,

as in dumb show. Prol. “Gentles, perchance, you wonder at this shows

“ But wonder on, till truth make all things plain. • This man is Pyramus, if you would know ;

“ This beauteous lady Thisby is, certain. “ This man, with lime and rough-cast, doth present

" Wall, that vile wall, which did these loverssunder: " And through wall's chink, poor souls, they are con

66 tent

“ To whisper ; at the which let no man wonder. « This man, with lanthorn, dog, and bush of thorn,

" Presenteth Moon-fhine : for, if you will know, “ By moon-shine did these lovers think no scorn

“ To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo. “ This grisly beast, which by name Lion hight, " The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, “ Did scare away, or rather did affright: 6. And as she fled, her mantle she did fall ; 3

2

2

“ To the sound of soft recorders." It is found in very many of the old plays. Steevens.

9-tut not in government.] That is, not regularly according to the tune. STEEVENS.

· In this place the folio, 1623, exhibits the following prompter's direction. Tawyer with a trumpet before thim. Steevens.

which Lion hight by name. As all the other parts of this speech are in alternate rhyme, excepting that it closes with a couplet ; and as no rhyme is left to name ; we must conclude, either a verse is nipt out, which cannot now be retriev'd ; or, by a transposition of the words, as I have placed them, the poet intended a triplet. THEOBALD.

her mantle she did fall.] Thus all the old copies. The modern editions read, -" The let fall,” unnecessarily. So in the Tempeft, act ii. sc. 1.

“ And when I rear my hand do you the like,
To fall it on Gonzalo.". STEEVENS.

66 Which

3

" Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain. “ Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall, !“ And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle Nain; Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,+

“ He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast. “ And Thisby, tarrying in mulberry shade,

“ His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest, " Let Lion, Moon-fhine, Wall, and lovers twain, " At large discourse, while here they do remain."

[Exeunt all but Wall. The. I wonder, if the Lion be to speak. Dem. No wonder, my lord : one Lion may,

when

many afles do.

Wall. “ In this same interlude, it doth befall, « That I, one Snout by name, present a wall : “ And such a wall, as I would have you think, " That had in it a crannied hole, or chink ;

* Whereat, with blade, with blody blameful blade,] Mr. Upton rightly observes, that Shakespeare in this line ridicules the affectation of beginning many words with the same letter. He might have remarked the same of

The raging rocks

And shivering shocks. Gascoigne, contemporary with our poet, remarks and blames the same affectation. JOHNSON.

This alliteration seems to have reached the height of its fashion in the reign of Hen. VIII. The following stanza is quoted from a poem on the Fall and evil Success of Rebellion, written in 1537, by Wilfride Holme.

“ Loe, leprous lurdeins, lubricke in loquacitie,
“ Vah, vaporous villeins, with venim vulnerate,
“ Proh, prating parenticides, plexious to pinnositie,
Fie, frantike, fabulators, furibund, and fatuate,
“ Out, oblatrant, oblict, obstacle, and obcecate.
Ah addict algoes, in acerbitie acclamant
“ Magnall in mischief, malicious to mugilate,

" Repriving your Roy so renowned and radiant." In Tuffer's Husbandry, page 104, there is a poem, of which every word begins with a T. STEEVENS,

Through

Through which the lovers, Pyramus and Thisby, “ Did whisper often very secretly. “ This lome, this rough-cast, and this stone doth

Thew, " That I am that same wall; the truth is fo. “ And this the cranny is, right and finifter, “ Through which the fearful lovers are to whisper." The. Would you desire lime and hair to speak

better? Dem. It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord. The. Pyramus draws near the wall: filence!

Enter Pyramus. Pyr. “ O grim-look'd night! O night with hue lo

« black ! “ O night, which ever art, when day is not! “ O night, О night, alack, alack, alack,

“ I fear my Thisby's promise is forgot! " And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall, " That stand'st between her father's ground and

" mine; " Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall, “ Shew me thy chink to blink through with mine

eyne. “ Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield chee well

6 for this ! “ But what see I? No Thisby do I see. « () wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss ;

“ Curit be thy ftones for thus deceiving me !"

The. The wall, methinks, being sensible, should curse again.

Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving me is Thiby's cue; she is to enter now, and I am to fpy her through the wall. You fhall fee, it will fall pat as I told you :--Yonder the comes.

Enter

Enter Tbijby. This. “ O wall, full often hast thou heard my

“ moans, “ For parting my fair Pyramus and me: My cherry lips hath often kiss’d thy stones;

Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.". Pyr. “ I see a voice : now will I to the chink, " To spy an I can hear my Thisby's face.

Thisby!” This. « My love! thou art, my love, I think.” Pyr. “ Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's

grace, “ And like Limander am I trusty ftiM."6

This. And I like Helen till the fates me kill.”. Pyr. « Not Shafalus to Procrus was so true," Tbil

. “ As Shafalus to Procrus, I to you." Pyr. “ O kiss me through the hole of this vile

< wall." Tbil. “ I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all." Pyr.

“ Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straight

“ way?” This.Tide life, tide death, I come without delay.”

Wall. “ Thus have I Wall my part discharged so : “ And being done, thus Wall away doth go."

[Exeunt Wall, Pyramus, and Thisyy. Tbe. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.

Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wil. ful to hear without warning."

Hip -knit up in thee.] Thus the folio. The quarto reads, knit up again. Steevens.

. And like Limander, &c.] Limander and Helen, are spoken by the blundering player, for Leander and Hero. Shafalus and Procrus, for Cephalus and Procris. JOHNSON.

? Thes. Now is the Mural down between the two neighbours. Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to HEAR VOL. III.

H

S

wirbour

« PreviousContinue »